In a time when consumer confidence in marketing is decreasing, many brands struggle to connect with their audience.
As the way we work changes, many brands are unsure how to evolve, resulting in lower employee satisfaction and efficiency. You may be overlooking the most effective solution to these struggles—content created by your employees.
What Is Employee-Generated Content?
Employee-generated content or EGC includes blogs, social media posts, internal workflows, training materials, and other content created by your employees and related to your brand or your industry.
Examples of employee-generated content include:
- A template created by a copywriter to streamline writing process.
- An Instagram story posted by a new hire about his first day, including cafeteria food options and new employee swag.
- A Facebook post sharing an employee's excitement about getting a new standing desk at work.
- A blog post about the winner of a Halloween cubicle decorating contest... and so much more!
Your employees are already creating content. They are emailing their colleagues, creating resource guides, documenting processes as they work, and posting on social media. By empowering your employees to create and share content, both your brand and your employees can benefit.
There are two main types of employee-generated content: content created for internal communications and content created to drive customer advocacy.
Employee-Generated Content for Internal Communications
EGC strategies are often implemented to build trust and increase reach on social media. For example, employees can be encouraged to write blog posts or create their own videos.
Content created by employees for an internal use, on the other hand, may include:
- A light-hearted video series that outlines a new company policy.
- A workflow created by one account manager that is used as a template to improve efficiency across the board.
- Training materials created by a top tier sales manager.
Benefits of Internal Employee-Generated Content
Employee-generated content can be highly effective at improving communication, employee productivity, and recognition inside your company.
Looking at the examples above, a workflow created by an account manager who is actually doing the work is going to be more effective than a workflow created by an admin team. Rewarding that account manager will improve his moral and motivation, and it is likely to help other workers be more efficient.
An internal content hub can be used to combine scattered documents and knowledge, allowing new hires to be more quickly trained, improving knowledge transfer in the company, and increasing revenue as employees are more able to serve customers.
Encouraging Internal Employee-Generated Content
You can encourage employees to create new materials by launching a recognition program. For example, a team leader might simply thank a team member for sharing content on a group call and send a link to attendees. The team member could also be invited to present key insights at a company-wide meeting or the company could host a contest and offer a prize.
Employee-Generated Content With an Employee Advocacy Approach
Many consumers no longer trust ads. Instead, they look for recommendations from friends, family members, and influencers before buying a product or a service. The rise of ad-blocking technology has further reduced the effectiveness of digital marketing. Content marketing, however, costs 62% less than traditional forms of marketing and drives as much as three times as many leads.
Benefits of External Employee-Generated Content
Encouraging employee-generated content with an employee advocacy approach is both cost-effective and more effective in general. This content establishes a “pull strategy'” that attracts customers who already are interested in your niche.
In addition to being cheaper, employee-generated content can:
- Drive brand awareness
- Create recruitment opportunities
- Help employees increase their thought leadership
- Improve brand trust
How to Encourage External Employee-Generated Content
The most effective way to encourage employee-generated content for advocacy is to empower your employees through education. Some employees are unsure what to share and worry that something they share will reflect poorly on them or the company.
Educate employees about what type of content is beneficial and provide guidelines. Give examples and suggest hashtags that will help increase the reach of their content. Encourage employees to engage with content created by their colleagues. This knowledge will reduce fear and create an environment where sharing content is encouraged.
Enabling your employees to create content about your brand will benefit both your company and your employees. Your content marketing efforts will thrive on content that creates an authentic connection with customers and prospects. Increasing internal content sharing will increase communication and improve employee productivity. Most importantly, your employees will feel empowered to grow, learn, and drive innovation in your company.
Are you looking for additional best practices for improving internal communications at your business? Feel free to download our free eBook "How to Boost Internal Communication"!